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12-12-2016, 08:21 AM   #1
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Thoughts on Ballhead Gimbal Attachments...

I find myself sitting in this sort of grey area where a ballhead by itself is not fully sufficient, and a Wimberly Gimbal is overkill...


I just purchased a new tripod - Benro TMA37AL with B3 ballhead

My longest lens is the DA*300, likely will add the 1.4x later.

Currently shooting handheld or from an Induro monopod when stability is needed.
I have a ballhead on the monopod, dropping the head into the vertical slot allows me to use it sort of like a gimbal... The lens/camera can pivot vertically and the monopod can pivot horizontally allowing a full range of motion.


I know the Wimberly Sidekick is an option, there is also an option from Jobu: Jobu Design BWG Micro Gimbal/Ballhead Adapter BWG-M1 B&H Photo
As well as this option from ProMediaGear: ProMediaGear Tomahawk Gimbal Attachment for Ball Heads GT1 B&H

Does anybody have an opinion of these products?


Is the DA*300 too small of a lens to justify a gimbal purchase?


I think something like the Jobu would be great to just throw in my bag. But I haven't heard much about it...


Thoughts?

12-12-2016, 09:22 AM   #2
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I have a DA*300. If I am hiking/walking with it, I use it hand held. Remove the tripod mount and raise the ISO to be able to shoot at 1/1000 and up with shake reduction on. I can get a lot of keepers that way, even with the 1.4 TC. If I am going to shooting birds or other wildlife from a stationary position, I have a Benro C2580F tripod and a Jobu Design BWG-J3K Jobu Jr.3 Gimbal Kit with Swing-Arm HM-J2. I find the combination works well and I have no fear that the lens is going to take a swing in the wrong direction.
12-12-2016, 09:40 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mechmike10 Quote
I have a DA*300. If I am hiking/walking with it, I use it hand held. Remove the tripod mount and raise the ISO to be able to shoot at 1/1000 and up with shake reduction on. I can get a lot of keepers that way, even with the 1.4 TC. If I am going to shooting birds or other wildlife from a stationary position, I have a Benro C2580F tripod and a Jobu Design BWG-J3K Jobu Jr.3 Gimbal Kit with Swing-Arm HM-J2. I find the combination works well and I have no fear that the lens is going to take a swing in the wrong direction.

Sorry if I misunderstand your comment but if you use a shutter speed of 1000 you should turn shake reduction off
12-12-2016, 09:42 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mechmike10 Quote
I have a DA*300. If I am hiking/walking with it, I use it hand held. Remove the tripod mount and raise the ISO to be able to shoot at 1/1000 and up with shake reduction on. I can get a lot of keepers that way, even with the 1.4 TC. If I am going to shooting birds or other wildlife from a stationary position, I have a Benro C2580F tripod and a Jobu Design BWG-J3K Jobu Jr.3 Gimbal Kit with Swing-Arm HM-J2. I find the combination works well and I have no fear that the lens is going to take a swing in the wrong direction.
I agree that the DA*300 is a very handhold-able lens!

I guess I'm just looking for that stationary position option. There are a few places I can access now that have a decent spot for "sit and shoot" photography.
I've done it with the monopod and even handheld, but you fatigue quickly just standing there with your gear in hand...

---------- Post added 12-12-16 at 11:44 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
Sorry if I misunderstand your comment but if you use a shutter speed of 1000 you should turn shake reduction off
I am so back and forth on SR...
Obviously don't use it on a tripod, even on a monopod it can cause blurry photos.

I've used it with the DA*300 shooting 1/250 and had decent results. But most of the time I find it problematic.

12-12-2016, 09:48 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
I agree that the DA*300 is a very handhold-able lens!

I guess I'm just looking for that stationary position option. There are a few places I can access now that have a decent spot for "sit and shoot" photography.
I've done it with the monopod and even handheld, but you fatigue quickly just standing there with your gear in hand...

---------- Post added 12-12-16 at 11:44 AM ----------



I am so back and forth on SR...
Obviously don't use it on a tripod, even on a monopod it can cause blurry photos.

I've used it with the DA*300 shooting 1/250 and had decent results. But most of the time I find it problematic.




my understanding is the rule of thumb is you turn it on if the shutter speed is less than the length of the lens...so if you have 300mm lens, shutter speed above 300 you turn it off...if my understanding is wrong please correct me
12-12-2016, 10:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pearsaab Quote
my understanding is the rule of thumb is you turn it on if the shutter speed is less than the length of the lens...so if you have 300mm lens, shutter speed above 300 you turn it off...if my understanding is wrong please correct me
I've never heard that but it makes sense in practice!
I'm gonna have to remember that next time... Thanks!
12-12-2016, 03:28 PM   #7
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I have used the Jobu Design BWG-J3K Jobu Jr.3 in the past on occasion. It`s build well and not super expensive.

12-12-2016, 03:58 PM   #8
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My progress sounds a bit like yours..... a while after getting the DFA 150-450 I got a LensMaster Gimbal Head - Australia Sales ...... I got the side version (RH-1) ..... and now use a L plate on my K-1 as well for when I'm using a shorter lens...... great product and wouldn't go back to the ball head.
12-12-2016, 05:09 PM   #9
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I find it best to think of SR as a useful but annoying accessory - like a tripod - to be used only when it is the only way to solve a particular problem. Like a TC or a special filter, only use it when it makes sense and offers useful EV options. Reference to a FL rule of thumb may help make a decision but shouldn't become a habitual, default practice.

Best way to find out what works for you is to shoot a lot of identical scenes with SR on and off for comparison.

[ I'm still lookin' for the SR switch on my film bodies. ]
12-13-2016, 07:20 AM   #10
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I generally shoot the DA*300 with the 1.4x at 1/400 handheld. I have one of my USER settings at TAV F/8 1/400 for birding. I do use SR, as I find it hard to keep the lens as steady as I would like when aiming up at birds in trees.

Previously, I shot on a Giottos monopod with and without SR. This makes following a BIF very difficult, but the stability through the viewfinder was comforting. When I switched about a year ago to handholding with SR, I saw no difference at all in my shots compared to the monopod. It would be interesting to do some controlled tests of handheld shots with and without SR, but it would be hard to repeat the exact movements of the lens in hand. It seems to me that it would take a lot of tries to get enough examples to be meaningful.

I have a gimbal, but I seem to use it only for the 500/4.5 with 1.4x or the A400 with 1.4x.
12-16-2016, 01:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
My progress sounds a bit like yours..... a while after getting the DFA 150-450 I got a LensMaster Gimbal Head - Australia Sales ...... I got the side version (RH-1) ..... and now use a L plate on my K-1 as well for when I'm using a shorter lens...... great product and wouldn't go back to the ball head.
Does your camera ever hit the tripod mount or gimbal head when shooting?

Hard to explain, but as the vertical pivot moves the camera would dip down a bit and swing forward. If you had something fly overhead and you tried to angle the lens up, wouldn't the camera hit the gimbal head base?
Obviously gimbal heads aren't designed for shooting 90 degree vertical shots. But at what angle does the camera hit the base?


I'm very interested in the RH-2. Especially with the current exchange rate, it's only about $250 with shipping to the US.


I just worry about clearance. Especially with a DA*300, since the tripod foot isn't offset that much from the lens. So the camera body would be even closer to the gimbal base when vertical pivoting.

Does this make sense?
12-16-2016, 01:35 PM   #12
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surprised nobody mentioned the Acratech ballhead with built-in gimbal. (my favorite ballhead)

Acratech GV2 Ballhead/Gimbal Head: Nature and Wildlife Photography Forum: Digital Photography Review

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12-16-2016, 01:49 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MJSfoto1956 Quote
surprised nobody mentioned the Acratech ballhead with built-in gimbal. (my favorite ballhead)

Acratech GV2 Ballhead/Gimbal Head: Nature and Wildlife Photography Forum: Digital Photography Review

Michael
I don't understand how that's any different than a normal ballhead in portrait slot?
That's how I use my ballhead on monopod currently. Just drop the lens foot into the portrait slot of the ballhead and tighten the pan but loosen the ball.
12-16-2016, 03:56 PM   #14
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I'll take a couple of shots of it later today and post for you.

QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Does your camera ever hit the tripod mount or gimbal head when shooting?

Hard to explain, but as the vertical pivot moves the camera would dip down a bit and swing forward. If you had something fly overhead and you tried to angle the lens up, wouldn't the camera hit the gimbal head base?
Obviously gimbal heads aren't designed for shooting 90 degree vertical shots. But at what angle does the camera hit the base?


I'm very interested in the RH-2. Especially with the current exchange rate, it's only about $250 with shipping to the US.


I just worry about clearance. Especially with a DA*300, since the tripod foot isn't offset that much from the lens. So the camera body would be even closer to the gimbal base when vertical pivoting.

Does this make sense?
12-16-2016, 09:30 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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Mine's the RH-1...photos with K5II and K85/1.8





K-1 with L plate..... and DFA 150-450... hung from l plate....is the go.... for straight up +- 20 degrees.


Last edited by noelpolar; 12-16-2016 at 10:12 PM.
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